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Sample Essay

Another writer who speaks of the humor that was created by the Holocaust is Des Pres in Holocaust Laughter, an article that depicts how humor is becoming synonymous with the various stories and ideas that are emerging from this event[1]. The writer talks of Shoah, a film made about the Holocaust, where he claims the work of Claude Lanzmann to be cynical and biting, with the singular irony leading to terrific humor. Also, according to Des Pres, Lanzmann has no qualms at acting this way and his entire attitude seems to be intentional. This documentary is constructed out of several interviews and revisits to places that survived the Holocaust.

According to Des Pres, the way of looking at the Holocaust has changed from the typical version of anguish. Instead, it is not replaced with a more artistic form, allowing a unusual and more intricate version of this event to be weaved with the help of diverse stories and depictions. The writer is amongst that group of critics who feel laughter to be a recuperating force during a terrible ordeal. He feels laughing to be the healing power that reduces the enormity of a crisis and allows a nation to survive difficult times. It was for this reason that Des Pres’s work is amongst the literature that supports the stance of using satire to depict an event as terrible as the Holocaust, not only because of laughter’s ability to heal individuals but because of its power to draw audiences.

But while several writers give their depiction of the Holocaust and its humor, there was little documentary proof of the jokes applied during that terrible decade, allowing the Jews to survive the dreadful times


[1] Des Pres, Terrence. “Holocaust Laughter” in Writing into the World

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